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The “middle class” can be hard to define. A new report from Duke University suggests that for African Americans it’s simply hard to find — and that’s in the best of circumstances. The paper from researchers at Duke’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center for Social Equity finds that when using wealth as the defining criteria to demarcate class status, the middle class of black Americans is proportionately much smaller than the white middle class. “Even before the current pandemic exacerbated racial inequities, black Americans in the… read more about Middle class not a level playing field for blacks, new Duke research finds »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies        Mary Duke… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

A massive infusion of government cash and other resources is needed to help keep families afloat during the pandemic, a trio of Duke scholars said Tuesday. The recently approved $2 trillion stimulus bill won’t come close to solving the problems facing America’s working families, particularly African Americans, children and people who rely on government assistance to eat, they said during a web-based press conference. Here are excerpts: ON WHAT BLACK FAMILIES FACE RIGHT NOW William “Sandy” Darity,… read more about Duke Experts on How to Help Struggling Families in The Pandemic »

Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Professor of African & African American Studies, euologizes famed musician Bill Withers as a man who "eschewed the hit machine for emotional truth." Read more at NPR. read more about Bill Withers' Legacy Is So Much Deeper Than The Hits We All Know »

Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher: understanding the arguments for reparations for slavery and whether or not they are achievable. Guests: Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor, Ohio State University department of history William Darity Jr., professor of public policy, Duke University Tony Bogues, director, Brown University's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice LISTEN read more about Slavery Reparations »

The upcoming Afro-Feminist Performance Routes symposium and the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance highlight the contributions of Black dance, allowing artists, dancers, students, faculty, and the wider Durham community to share in critical inquiry and inspiration. Read More read more about Two Events Making Duke the Center of Black Dance »

The upcoming Afro-Feminist Performance Routes symposium and the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance highlight the contributions of Black dance, allowing artists, dancers, students, faculty, and the wider Durham community to share in critical inquiry and inspiration. Rujeko Dumbutshena is a dancer, choreographer and teacher of what she terms “neo traditional” Zimbabwean dance technique, Rujeko Dumbutshena teaches and performs throughout the U.S. and recently received her MFA from the University of New Mexico. The… read more about Two Events Making Duke the Center of Black Dance »

One of the state’s leading political figures joined six Duke faculty, staff and students in being honored for their community leadership and activism at the annual Samuel DuBois Cook Society Awards ceremony Feb. 11 at the Washington Duke Inn. The ceremony was led by Kimberly D. Hewitt, Duke’s new vice president of institutional equity. Hewitt succeeds Benjamin Reese, who retired last year and served as emcee for the Cook Society ceremony for more than a decade.  The mission of the Cook Society is to recognize, celebrate,… read more about Cook Society Honors Lives Led in Service at Duke and in the Community »

Popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal join host Frank Stasio in this installment of #Backchannel to talk about representation in animated film and how the short disrupts assumptions about black fathers. They also pay tribute to the recently-deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and share insight  into the tension surrounding how his 2003 rape allegation is being talked about in the wake of his death. LISTEN read more about 'Hair Love,' Remembering Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick's Road to Redemption »

Could financial reparations reduce the racial wealth gap? What else could the United States government do to make amends to black Americans for the crimes of slavery and subsequent injustices? Guests: William Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies and Economics at Duke University and co-author of the forthcoming book, "From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century"  A. Kirsten Mullen,… read more about A Reparations Roadmap for 21st Century Black Americans »

Thanks to 50 brave Duke black students who, in 1969, orchestrated a takeover of the Allen Building demanding a call for action beyond the desegregation of Duke campus that occurred six years prior, not only has the undergraduate student population grown to include approximately 10% black students, but also the Department of African & African American Studies was established in 1970. The Trinity College of Arts and Sciences celebrates the 50th anniversary of the department, which offers an interdisciplinary approach into… read more about Five Decades of African American Studies at Trinity »

Duke senior Liddy Grantland, who is this year’s Duke Chapel Student Preacher, will deliver a sermon in the chapel on Sunday, Feb. 23. A double major in English and African & African American Studies from Columbia, South Carolina, Grantland will preach during the chapel’s 11 a.m. worship service. Her sermon is based on the verses of the Gospel of Matthew that describes Jesus ascending a mountain with three of his disciples and then being transfigured with light. A key passage for Grantland is when the voice of God… read more about Duke Senior’s Sermon Feb. 23 to Find Equality Before God »

Author Jamillah Karim participated in last week’s Black Muslim Atlantic Symposium honoring the legacy of C. Eric Lincoln.  Read More read more about Said@Duke: Jamillah Karim »

“When we talk about Black aesthetics, we’re usually talking about the production of art, literature, theater and these sorts of things,” Duke University historian Jasmine Cobb told HuffPost.  Cobb is an expert in media depictions of Black people throughout history, and her forthcoming book focuses on the art and texture of Black hair after emancipation Read More read more about Introducing Black Hair Defined »

Meet Duke senior Naomi Lilly (photo, far right) before she launches NAL-Nay Lilly, a networking platform for diverse creative talent in this student-to-student interview.     Duke senior Naomi Lilly has just launched a new kind of online community. Her company, NAL-Nay Lilly is “creating networking opportunities for silenced voices in the media industry.” Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of this arts project, which is informed by Lilly’s own creative practice, her experiences in Duke in LA and NYC, and her major… read more about People of Duke Arts: Naomi Lilly ’20 is Disrupting Arts and Entertainment »

Duke senior Naomi Lilly has just launched a new kind of online community. Her company, NAL-Nay Lilly is “creating networking opportunities for silenced voices in the media industry.” Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of this arts project, which is informed by Lilly’s own creative practice, her experiences in Duke in LA and NYC, and her major in Department of African & African American Studies and double minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and Visual Media Studies. Read More read more about Naomi Lilly '20 is Disrupting Arts & Entertainment »

I took all the 9th Wonder classes here: History of Hip Hop (co-taught with Mark Anthony Neal, Department of African and African-American Studies), Black Popular Culture, Hip Hop Production, and a class taught with Professor Francis L. Roberts (Duke Music). Students can absolutely pursue music through education here at Duke. I wish I had the opportunity to take more classes. Read More read more about Andre Mego '20 Blends Pre-Med, Writing and Hip Hop »

Mark Anthony Neal explains why comedy has been a regular means of resistance Watch read more about Dick Gregory and the History of Black Comedy and Activism »

It’s been over three years since the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) opened in D.C. in September 2016, but the excitement around it doesn’t seem to have dimmed much. Chances are, you’re going to have to get your tickets three months in advance if you want to visit. Infants need their own timed pass, too. On Friday, January 17, Duke’s From Slavery to Freedom Lab hosted a panel in conjunction with the Franklin Humanities Institute on the topic of contemporary Black arts and icons. The panel… read more about Curating a New Portrait of Black America »

In February of 1969, more than 50 student members of the Afro-American Society at Duke University entered the Allen Building and staged a takeover of administrative spaces. Their demands varied, but first on the list was “the establishment of a fully-accredited department of Afro-American Studies.” Read More read more about Always in Motion »

In February of 1969, more than 50 student members of the Afro-American Society at Duke University entered the Allen Building and staged a takeover of administrative spaces. Their demands varied, but first on the list was “the establishment of a fully-accredited department of Afro-American Studies.” The university had admitted its first black students just six years earlier. Against a national backdrop of social change and racial tension, the student protestors felt they had exhausted the proper channels. And their actions… read more about Always in Motion: 50 Years of Black Studies at Duke »

In their forthcoming book, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” William “Sandy” Darity Jr. and wife Kirsten Mullen of Durham make a case for reparations for black Americans. Read More read more about Durham Couple's New Book Makes A Case For Reparations »

Popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal join host Frank Stasio to talk about Lizzo’s influence and what is behind the body shaming. Plus, they share their personal Grammy picks, including Georgia Anne Muldrow for best urban contemporary album and Jazzmeia Horn for best jazz vocal album. LISTEN read more about #BackChannel: Year of Lizzo, Evolving Legacies of Nipsey Hussle & Prince, and What To Watch »

The Graduate School has announced the recipients of its 2020 Dean's Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts in mentoring, teaching, and creating an inclusive environment for graduate education at Duke. The recipients will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, March 25. Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Faculty William Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy Jennifer Roizen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry David Wong, Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy… read more about 10 Dean’s Awards Recipients Named for 2020 »

The Graduate School has announced the recipients of its 2020 Dean's Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts in mentoring, teaching, and creating an inclusive environment for graduate education at Duke. The recipients will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, March 25. Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring FACULTY William Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy Jennifer Roizen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry David Wong, Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of… read more about 10 Dean;s Awards Recipients Named For 2020 »

But William Darity, a professor at Duke University, argues the federal government, which “maintained the legal framework for apartheid in America’’ should pay black descendants of American slavery and eliminate the racial wealth gap. Read More read more about The US is grappling with its history of slavery »

William Darity, a Duke University public policy professor and an expert on reparations, said the voices of college students have helped bring attention to reparations in a way that hasn’t been seen since Reconstruction. But he has warily watched what he sees as a piecemeal approach to an issue he believes merits a congressional response. “I don’t want anybody to be under the impression that these constitute comprehensive reparations,” Darity said. Read More read more about Reparations mark new front for US colleges tied to slavery »

The elegant 1986 work he’s dancing, “Divertimento,” is one of the first images visitors see in “The America That Is to Be,” an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum here that runs through Jan. 26. Organized by the dance artist and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz, the show traces the evolution, over 40 years, of Mr. Byrd’s commitment to dance as a catalyst for social justice. “Donald has been celebrated but way undervalued,” said Mr. DeFrantz, who has been his friend and worked with him intermittently as a dramaturge since the 1990s… read more about Can Dance Make A More Just America? Donald Byrd is Working on It »

“Many borders are decided in places that aren’t at the edges of nations or represented by a fence,” said Piot, a professor of cultural anthropology and African and African American studies and a leading researcher in the economy and history of West Africa. Read More read more about How Migration Scholars Interpret Borders »